Sunday, January 27, 2019

Acro Gymnastics Mock Meet (Flip Force)

Tori and I have been practicing Acro for the last few years so it was very fun to watch our friends’ daughters compete in an Acro Gymnastics Mock Meet on Sunday. This practice meet was held at Flip Force with teams visiting from the Cal Elite gym. In Acrobatic Gymnastics, the routines are similar to the well-known gymnastic Floor Exercise with a Pair or Trio dancing and tumbling to music, transitioning into acrobatic balancing poses as well as adding dynamic tosses with the Base(s) pitching and catching the Top who twists and somersaults in the air.

Cindy's daughters performed first with their respective Trios. Maya and Vanessa were the Middles (Mids) in their groups, a position which combines the strength and balance of the Base with the flexibility and agility of the Top. It was cool to see the girls who I have caught in Flying Trapeze, doing so well in this exciting sport. Maya's Trio has been selected to the National Team in the 11-16 Age Group.

Cami and Tatum both competed as Tops in their respective Pairs. After living for many years in the circus, traveling through Japan with their parent's Flying Trapeze Troupe, they are back in the States and using their circus training and experience to excel in Acro Gymnastics. They are natural performers.

Tatum's Pair was Level 6 and she had a big smile throughout her routine. My favorite picture is of her older sister giving her two thumbs up as Tatum stands in a Two High near the end of her routine.

We also got to see the B.E.E Trio perform from Cal Elite, one of the three woman's groups in the Junior 12-18 National Team for USA Gymnastics. They performed at very high level with impressive standing acrobatic poses and they tossed their Top high into the air. They will compete in Belgium this year.

Their Triple Handstand Pose with the Top balancing on their feet was my favorite and I especially like the dismount as she rolled down the back of the Middle's legs.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Sailing in San Diego Bay (New Year's Day)

On New Year's Day, Kenny invited Tori and I to go sailing with him and Kirstin in San Diego Bay. He rented a 22' sailboat from Seaforth Boat Rentals in the Embarcadero Marina. Even though wind was predicted at 10 to 15 knots with gusts up to 20, we still needed to use the small outboard motor for awhile after raising the sails.

We started to pick up some wind after passing the USS Midway aircraft carrier and the tall buildings of downtown. With stronger winds behind us, it was smooth sailing as we cruised West toward the tip of Point Loma, drinking wine and snacking on cheese and cold cuts. There were a lot of other sailboats out with a couple of one-man hydrofoils speeding past us.

Since our boat was a rental, we turned around at the mouth of the bay and headed back. Tacking back and forth, we made slow progress as the stronger 20 knot gusts began to blow and cause a bit of havoc with the other boats. We saw two separate boats with the passengers sitting on top of the capsized hull. Since tacking was taking forever and we had to get back to the marina by 4pm, we lowered the sails and fired up the engine.

Our motor ran out of gas right as we reached the curve of the bay that heads back South so we were able to raise sail and make it all the way back to the marina with one tack. The sail was hard to raise in the strong breeze and I had to climb onto the mast to help run it up. We had a flock of hungry seagulls trailing us for awhile. We called the rental company at the mouth of the marina and they told us we had a spare gallon of gas under the seat the whole time. With the outboard fired back up, we were able to maneuver the sailboat back to the dock.

After dropping off the boat, we watched the sunset from the Edgewater Grill terrace as we ate a light meal in Seaport Village. During our meal, Tori realized she had lost her ID and credit cards while hanging from the tree in the park earlier, but she retraced her steps and found it again. Lucky!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Batiquitos Lagoon Hike (Nikon DSLR D3500)

Yesterday, Tori and I hiked the 3.25 mile trail on the northern side of Batiquitos Lagoon at the edge my home town of Encinitas. I have never hiked this trail before, but back in the 70's and 80's, my dad used to drive us over to visit the Monkey and Lioness that lived in two large cages on the eastern end of the Lagoon. (I will never forget the lioness, we would sometimes scratch her on the back as she lay up against the chain-link fence. Solomon, a friendly homeless man in our neighborhood, lost two fingers and his thumb when he risked giving her a scratch behind her ear. After that, I was too afraid to touch her anymore.) Due to the access to the sea being blocked by the railroad, the Pacific Coast Highway, and the I-5 Freeway, the lagoon use to stink in the summer during my childhood as the lagoon slowly filled up with silt. Between 1994 and 1997, Batiquitos was dredged and the tidal flow was restored to this natural estuary by building a jetty into the Pacific Ocean and lengthening the three bridges that cross the lagoon. It is now a nature preserve with several nesting sites for migrating birds. For the hike, I took my new Nikon D3500 that Tori bought me for Christmas. After owning several compact point-and-shoot cameras over my life, it is awesome to have my first DSLR. It is just Nikon's entry-level camera, but I feel like an official photographer now.